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Author Topic: Evaluator spending more time with ex than me... a concern?  (Read 1822 times)

DecentDad

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Hi Soc,

Reminder... we're now in fifth month of our 730 eval.  I've provided mounds of evidence that shows biomom as unstable and ignorant with regard to effective parenting. Biomom has refuted very little via evidence and has presented nominal evidence against me, though plenty of unsupported narrative from her.  I refuted all of her narrative with yet more evidence.

As I get the invoices for evaluator's services, I can see that while he's been telling me he doesn't really need to meet with me on anything critical, my ex has been meeting with him every couple weeks and even brought our daughter in to his office for a second observed parenting session (I only had one that went fine).

1.  I'm wondering if there's a general reason why a 730 evaluator would be doing this... and I'm hoping that the only reasonable explanation means good things for me.  Could it mean anything BAD against me?

Thanks,
DD



Brent

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RE: Evaluator spending more time with ex than me... a concern?
« Reply #1 on: Mar 03, 2004, 07:23:24 PM »
>I'm wondering if there's a general reason why a 730
>evaluator would be doing this... and I'm hoping that
>the only reasonable explanation means good things for
>me. Could it mean anything BAD against me?

It very well could mean the worst, that the evaluator has "bought" your ex's story and is now discounting you. I strongly urge you to read this:

Overturning Parenting Evaluations
http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/overturn.htm

Excerpt:

"If you think that the evaluator is biased or is conducting the evaluation improperly, notify your attorney immediately. Report any unethical, improper, or biased behavior BEFORE the evaluator's report is writen and the custody recommendation is made."

socrateaser

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RE: Evaluator spending more time with ex than me... a concern?
« Reply #2 on: Mar 07, 2004, 04:40:31 PM »
>1.  I'm wondering if there's a general reason why a 730
>evaluator would be doing this... and I'm hoping that the only
>reasonable explanation means good things for me.  Could it
>mean anything BAD against me?

Well, my experience with people who pile on evidence and try to learn the ins and outs of the legal system while pursing their own case, ESPECIALLY in CA, is that they are frequently perceived as being highly controlling, hostile and adversarial, and that they usually shoot themselves in the foot by exposing these characteristics to an evaluator who is trained to look for exactly this sort of controlling behavior.

If the child's mother brings the child to the evaluator several times and it's always a big love thing, i.e., the child and mother seem well adjusted and happy, then, all of your facts will probably fall on deaf ears and you will lose your case.

Nothing short of a psychological diagnosis of the mother's having a mental disorder that negatively affects the child's best interests is gonna get you a custody reversal, in my opinion. And, this is not to say that every word you've written to me isn't the absolute unvarnished truth. It's just that the system is set up to maintain the status quo under almost every circumstance, and the mother currently has custody.

Only time will tell.

DecentDad

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Further info on this... thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: Mar 08, 2004, 11:01:12 AM »
Soc,

Thanks, as always, for your perspective.  It's a good reality check for me.

I met with the evaluator again, after the previous post.

Further info, I'd appreciate it if you still have the same reaction to the situation:

A)  He told me that 4 year old daughter didn't talk nor separate from her mother on their first visit, hence he wanted to try again.  Mentioned that she did better on their second time.  Also said that she did fine on my first visit to him (i.e., she was her normal self in my observation), so no need to have me bring her in again.

B) Evaluator said that 42 year old biomom suddenly decided she wanted to move 400 miles away to live with her mother, and that she hadn't mentioned it in his prior meetings with her.  Evaluator said he's puzzled why this has suddenly come up, why she'd move to a city that doesn't support her career.  He needs to meet with her further to discuss it, but says she's having scheduling difficulties now (i.e., even though she works 10 hours a week).  He said that it's upon her to prove best interest of child for the move, as compared to post-judgment when the burden would be on the nonmoving party.  Biomom suggests I could travel alternating weekends to see daughter 400 miles away, but evaluator said that I'd have to stay in a hotel (i.e., with daughter), so he doesn't yet understand biomom's plan for how that's best.

C) I didn't give evaluator any evidence until he asked for it two months into the process.  He explained there's much he-said-she-said and told me to give him whatever would help him figure out what's going on.  So I did.

D) He had given each of us a 12 page questionnaire (his own) that he instructed us to fill out by hand, without help from our attorneys, and return to him.  I did mine completely.  She did hers about halfway, referring only to her attorney's correspondence to evaluator in several spots and leaving those answers blank.  When I told him I never saw the attorney's letters to him, he said that he doesn't pay much attention to attorneys' letters of advocacy on behalf of clients because they're biased.  He made me a copy of the correspondence, and all of the evidence refutes what the attorney provided.

E) I asked him if he accounts for any anticipated very negative reactions to his recommendation report.  He explained that in his report, he describes anticipated parental reactions and outlines the best course that each parent could take (i.e., speaking to the parents).  When I started to say I had significant concerns about how biomom will react to an unfavorable report (i.e., me not saying but rather thinking about harm to herself, me, my wife; or kidnapping), he interrupted the start of my sentence and said he knows my concerns and has to assess if that possibility is valid.

F) I completed a local 30-hour parenting course.  When I told him, he remarked it's a good one to which he has referred many parents.

G) I haven't spoken much legalese in front of him, merely commenting several times that my attorney had told me to do XYZ, and I'm just trying to jump through all these hoops to do what I think is best for daughter.  I've done every test he's thrown my way, have signed every release he requested.

H) During the course of the evaluation, mother has admitted to suckling daughter on nonlactating breast (i.e., a near 4 year old), to putting daughter back in diapers.  In middle of evaluations, she forced me to get Ex Parte orders to take my daughter to a neighboring state for Thanksgiving to be with family (i.e., the custodial time was already set, but she refused to agree to let daughter travel in 2003, though daughter traveled with me in 2002 for Thanksgiving).  Mother said in deposition (provided to evaluator) that I'm 100% responsible for child's problems, and she is 0% responsible.  Said that I'm 100% responsible for parental conflict, and she is 0% responsible.  Hasn't read any parenting books, doesn't need to.  Insists that canceling overnights with me is the only way daughter will have stability.  Keeps emphasizing her belief that I was an abused child, hence I will be an abusive parent.  ETC.

---------------

1.  I know you're not intimately in the case... but you still have the same reaction?

2.  If so, should I be doing anything, or just now wait for the report?

Thanks,
DD

socrateaser

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RE: Further info on this... thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: Mar 10, 2004, 10:15:34 AM »
>1.  I know you're not intimately in the case... but you still
>have the same reaction?

The only thing that I find interesting is paragraph "H". Shows lots of hostility on Mom's part, but, of course, you haven't mentioned how you have responded to these allegations, i.e., "No, it's 100% MOM's fault," etc.

And, if Mom is engaging in "odd" maternal behaviors, then you should move for a psych eval on mom, assuming that this behavior is, in fact, not in the child's best interests, and I'm unsure about this. If you don't, then the court will probably not give the issue much weight.


>2.  If so, should I be doing anything, or just now wait for
>the report?

See above.


DecentDad

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So if psych tests have been done, just sit tight now? (more)
« Reply #5 on: Mar 10, 2004, 12:11:02 PM »
Hi,

Thanks for that.  Evaluator is clinical psychologist with 20 years experience in custody evaluations.  He was recommended to me by a few sources as being sensitive to alienation and mental illness.  I haven't mentioned "alienation" or diagnosed any mental illness but rather just described all the behavior and actions of biomom that could point to those things.

We did MMPI-2, MIPS, P.A.S.S., a written parenting attitudes exam, and a written survey of our perspective of our child.  The latter two were standardized, I forgot their names.

When asked about it, I've mostly just characterized biomom's extreme polarization that I'm "all bad" as evidence that we won't be able to resolve conflict nor make joint decisions about daughter.  I had previously attempted co-parenting counseling for several months, we went through two court-mandated mediators, and they were just an opportunity for her to have me locked in a room for an hour and cast more blame.

Our history of correspondence (judge had previously ordered email-only communication) shows me trying to be fact-based and solution-focused with regard to daughter, while biomom is reactive and blame oriented.  That's much of the evidence I provided to evaluator.

The whole crux of her evidence (i.e., aside from her narrative, hearsay documents) seems based on a weekend in July 2003 when I wrote her an email advising her that daughter didn't poop in those 48 hours, so we may want to schedule pediatrician appointment if it's on the tail end of constipation, as daughter has suffered previously.

She entered daughter into psychotherapy for the "stress related bowel problems" daughter suffers as a result of spending time with me.  She refused to honor vacation time, she wanted to eliminate the sleepover weekends.

She incidentally never called pediatrician about it, though she made it a crisis that didn't die down for six months.

Other examples of wackiness (of the dozens and dozens provided to evaluator):
A) She had her attorney write to my attorney because it took me 10 minutes to return biomom's call over a weekend for her to speak to daughter.
B) In another letter, she speculated that my girlfriend (now wife) cut daughter's hair and had no right to do so.  Daughter's hair was never cut.
C) She wrote me letters admonishing me for "my behavior", but returned my correspondence back unopened (i.e., and those unopened envelopes are evidence for evaluator).  
D)She recorded herself (via phone answering machine) saying that she's walked around her whole life wanting to kill herself when people hurt her, but now it feels good to want to kill me.  Evaluator has recording.
E) We have court orders for curbside pick-up and email communication only about parenting issues, but she's come up to my door several times in one evening after pick-up to demand things from me.  She explained to evaluator that I had to cause trouble by aggressively telling her to stop harrassing me when she came up to my door.  I actually told her (on recording) to please stop bothering me and just go home.
F) She has daughter asleep at 5pm upon my pick-up, most recently in her night-gown.  She wrote an email in reply to mine requesting that she have daughter ready-- she stated she can't control when daughter needs to nap.
G) There were a couple weeks in December 2003 that she insisted she must bring daughter to car upon my pick-up (i.e., rather than me greeting daughter on sidewalk as we've done forever).  Carrying daughter, she'd walk right past me, igoring me, on the way to my car.  Evaluator has recording of such an exchange.

I'm employed in stable position, flexible schedule.  Biomom is unemployed.  I'm six-months' married (my wife has been in daughter's life since Dec 2001) and live in a single family home in a good neighborhood and school district.  Biomom lives in a small one-bedroom apartment and wants to move away.  I have a number of professionals on my collateral list.

QUESTION

Again... I know you're not intimately involved in my case... but if I've demonstrated her venom, showed overwhelming examples of very wacky stuff, and reasonably passed all the tests and performed better than she did (as I would imagine)... should I be doing anything further with evaluator anymore or just wait for his report?

Thanks, Soc.

DD

Throughtheringer

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RE: Further info on this... thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: Mar 10, 2004, 01:45:59 PM »
Just went through a similar thing in moveaway battle (ongoing) with SD11.  DH and I were concerned because it seemed that the forensic psychologist was spending a lot more time with BM than us.  We gave the psychologist a full book worth of data (evidence of BM's denial of our visitation etc.,)

When we got the report, we were favored and he recommended against the moveaway in addition to recommending that our visitation be increased.  I think a good forensics evaluator can see all those things you've desperately wanted someone in this lousy system to see.

Of course we just got word that the new GAL is recommending against the evaluator.

Hang in there.  I wouldn't do anything drastic.  If your evaluator is being frank with you about concerns regarding the other parent, you're doing something right.  Just remember not to complain or bad mouth.

JT

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RE: Further info on this... thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: Mar 10, 2004, 02:08:53 PM »
So, Soc, I am currently going through the same scenario, excpet that I(the father) currently have status quo custody. The STBX wants to move 4000 miles away. Is the evaluator liable to let her take the child? Thanks, RFLO

socrateaser

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RE: Further info on this... thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: Mar 10, 2004, 07:43:26 PM »
You have custody, so no. Rule #1 in family law court is that whoever has physical custody of the child when they get to court usually wins everything. It's not a guarantee, but I'll give 2 to 1 odds all day long and grow old living large in luxury.

 

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